Can this season get any worse for Chelsea? After the latest international break surely we’ll be heading towards the top half and challenging for the European places shortly after.
Progression from the Champions League group stage is looking good, and if successful, we’ll have until February to get in form if we want to consider winning Europe’s biggest prize.
Domestically, the next set of fixtures are quite favourable to get us into a more respectable position, and the latest bookmaker offers are still favouring Chelsea for a top four finish this season. Here’s a quick look at our next four Premier League games:
Sunday 29 November: Tottenham Hotspur (away)
This was a real turn up for the books on New Year’s Day when Tottenham stunned us 5-3 at White Hart Lane. With the way the two teams are performing right now you wouldn’t put it past a repeat or similar result.
Three goals would be good for us actually – we’ve not looked too threatening in attack for much of the season, whilst Spurs have sured up their defensive line under Mauricio Pochettino after the opening third of the season.
We’re at Macabbi Tel-Aviv in the Champions League on the Tuesday beforehand, but Tottenham will be in action two days later, meaning they have much less time for recovery and preparation.
They’re in Azerbaijan for their Europa League game too – Pochettino has played a strong side in this competition this season so it will be interesting to see who he takes out there.
Right now, I’d say be lucky to come away with anything from this game, but hopefully we’ll be heading into it off of back-to-back victories.
Saturday 5 December: Bournemouth (home)
A full week’s rest is followed by another one of the newly-promoted sides as struggling Bournemouth come to town in Saturday’s evening kickoff.
Eddie Howe’s side are really struggling of late, particularly following long-term injuries to Callum Wilson, Max Gradel and Tyrone Mings.
The Cherries are currently on a four-game losing streak in the league, having shipped 13 goals and only scored twice during this run. Losing 1-0 at home to Newcastle is about as bad as it can get right now.
Their fixtures before coming to Stamford Bridge to start December are Swansea City away and Everton at home – they could be on a longer losing streak and in the relegation zone before they play us. I’m confident even now that this will be three points for the Blues.
Monday 14 December: Leicester City (away)
After the final group stage match in this season’s Champions League, at home to FC Porto on the Wednesday, we have the weekend off before travelling up to Leicester City for Monday night football.
Leicester City won’t be in action midweek but by this game not being played on Saturday or Sunday there’s little excuse for fatigue or lack of preparation time on our behalf.
Hopefully by then Jamie Vardy will have stopped scoring and that our former boss, Claudio Ranieri, will have stopped winning. Right now, the Foxes are third in the table.
They’ve got to travel to Newcastle, host Manchester United and then travel to Swansea City before the big showdown in mid-December.
Saturday 19 December: Sunderland (home)
If there’s one fixture you want to guarantee three points right now, it’s Sunderland.
The Black Cats have been woeful, even since the arrival of Sam Allardyce, shipping six to Everton, as well as defeats to West Brom and Southampton.
Sunderland’s defence is woeful so surely this will be a game that Eden Hazard, Diego Cost and co will turn it on; our final match before Christmas.
We’ve got some very favouable home matches coming up – Norwich City, Bournemouth, Sunderland and even Watford on Boxing Day. That simply has to 12 points from 12 and a top half standing before we travel to Manchester United on Monday 28 December.